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The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a new guide, Incorporating Active Shooter Incident Planning into Health Care Facility Emergency Plans, to help health care facilities better prepare for an active shooter incident. Although many health care facilities have emergency operations plans, this guide provides emergency planners, disaster committees, executive leadership and others involved in emergency operations planning with detailed discussions of unique issues faced by health care facilities.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released an updated version of its AHRQ Quality Indicators Toolkit for Hospitals .  The QI Toolkit is designed to help hospitals understand the Quality Indicators (QIs) from AHRQ and use them to successfully improve quality and patient safety in the hospital.

HIPAA Privacy in Emergency Situations Tuesday, November 18, 2014 Default-avatar

In light of the Ebola outbreak and other events, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), is providing a bulletin, HIPAA Privacy in Emergency Situations, to ensure that HIPAA covered entities and their business associates are aware of ways in which patient information may be shared under the HIPAA Privacy Rule in an emergency situation, and to serve as a reminder that the protections of the Privacy Rule are not set aside during an emergency. Additional guidance on emergency preparedness, planning, and response can be found at HIPAA Emergency Situations: Preparedness, Planning, and Response

Many of our clients have expressed concern about their level of preparedness for treating patients with Ebola. The following resources will help you stay apprised of the latest developments and recommendations.

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has issued a position paper, Opioids for Chronic Noncancer Pain, on how to safely and effectively prescribe narcotic painkillers. According to the position paper, the risks associated with using opioids for chronic headaches, fibromyalgia, and low back pain are greater than the potential benefits citing no substantial evidence for maintenance of pain relief or improved function over long periods of time without incurring serious risk of overdose, dependence, or addiction.